MEMS sensor chip is equipped with ultra high quality cantilever development by NIMS

Progress in the development of highly reliable and sensitive diamond MEMS sensors

MEMS sensor chip
Micrographs of the diamond MEMS chip developed through this research and one of the diamond cantilevers integrated into the chip.

26 December 2018 – Japan : MEMS sensor – in which microscopic cantilevers (only beam fixed on one end) and electronic circuits are integrated on a single substrate – have been used in the gas sensor, mass analyzer and scanning microscope probe. The MEMS sensor should be implemented in a variety of areas, such as the need to increase disaster prevention and healing, their sensitivity and reliability further. The elastic stable and mechanical continuity of diamond is among the highest of any material, making it promise to use it in the development of highly reliable and sensitive memorial sensors. However, due to its mechanical rigidity, diamond three-dimensional microfabrication is difficult. This research group has developed a “smart cut” fabrication method which enables the microprocessing of diamond using ion beams and was successful in creating a single crystal diamond cantilever in 2010. However, the quality factor of the diamond cantilever was similar to the existing silicon cantilever. Presence of surface defects

The research group later developed a new technology enabling nuclear etching of diamond surfaces. This etching technique allowed the group to remove the flaws on the lower surface of the cantilevered single crystal diamond crafted using smart cut method. The resulting cantilever demonstrated Q factor values ​​- the parameter used to measure the sensitivity of a cantilever – more than a million; In the highest middle of the world. The group then prepared a novel MEMS device concept: the integration of cantilever together, an electronic circuit that oscillates the cantilever and an electronic circuit that feels the vibration of the cantilever. Finally, the group developed a single crystal diamond MEMS chip which could be activated by electrical signals and successfully performed its operation for the first time in the world. Chip performed very high performance; it was highly sensitive and was able to operate at a low voltage and temperature of up to 600 ° C.

These results may be able to develop valuable research and highly sensitive, high-speed, compact and reliable sensors for the practical application of Diamond MES chips on fundamental technology, which differ from light as a single molecule.